As the Illinois primary descends on Chicago, FOX News Channel’s Special Report anchor Bret Baier comes to town to speak with a panel of local political experts, report live election updates for FOX, and, of course, film Special Report from the Chicago Bureau. We talked to Baier about his plans while he’s in town and his personal connections to the Windy City.
How long will you be in Chicago and what are your plans for coverage while you’re here?
BRET BAIER: I’m coming in on Tuesday morning until Wednesday afternoon. We often take the show on the road for big events and the Illinois primary is really turning out to be a crucial event for this GOP election. We’ll shoot the panel earlier in the day and then we’ll bounce around trying to hit some candidate events. But also, my in-laws live in Barrington and I’ll get to see my father- and brother-in-law for lunch, if I can squeeze it in.
Being that your wife is from Chicago, do the two of you spend a lot of time here?
BB: When I was courting her, I commuted back and forth from Washington, D.C., to Chicago many, many weekends in a row. She lived downtown and spent a lot of time on Michigan Avenue. In fact, I had to try to keep her off of Michigan Avenue! [Now], we have a 4-year-old and a 20-month-old, so hands are always filled trying to keep them under control at home.
Who are your journalistic role models?
BB: My mentor Brit Hume was always someone I looked up to. I also looked up to Tim Russert in the way he conducted interviews and the preparation and effort he put into all of his interviews on Meet the Press.
As one of the most watched news programs on cable, what do you hope people get out of Special Report?
BB: What we try to do is make the [show] such that someone can watch it and then come to the end of the hour and say, ‘Okay. I know what’s going on.’